It's been a truly remarkable year for astronomical adventures. On Earth we witnessed the marvels of a solar eclipse crossing the United States, an interstellar visitor entered our solar system, and we discovered some exciting Earth-sized exoplanets. Some astonishing images of the farthest reaches of our universe were also captured. In this special gallery we collect some of the most awe-inspiring outer space images of 2017.

Between the Hubble telescope and the scores of observatories around the globe capturing torrents of data, 2017 offered up some gorgeous images giving us an insight into the unknowable immensity of the universe we inhabit. Many of these images have been processed with colors and filters added to enhance or clarify certain details, but none of them are fake or entirely computer generated.

Before you jump into the gallery and travel to the outer reaches of our universe, we'll leave you with two quotes to put things in perspective.

"The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries."
Carl Sagan - Cosmos

"From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, 'Look at that, you son of a bitch.'"
Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut, speaking in People magazine on 8 April 1974.

Take a look through our gallery featuring a selection of the best space images and photographs of 2017.

View gallery - 45 images